Monday, June 26, 2006

The Art of Long Distance

As I flitted about preparing to leave the house -- ready for a full day of work and then a post-work celebration with my family for my mom's birthday -- Kaia happily slumbered, her "commute" being the short walk from the bedroom to her notebook PC charging silently on the ottoman in my living room. The phone's loud ring pierced my attempt to keep the apartment quiet so my other half could continue dreaming, and it turned out it was my sister, who was calling to advise me there was a segment on the Today Show discussing Long-Distance Relationships. Since Kaia and I are components thereof, she knew I'd be interested. We hung up and I quickly fired up the TV, set the volume low, and watched. It was very interesting, and the woman on the segment -- I missed her name -- mentioned an article written by Mary E. Morrison that was featured in Tango Magazine, both in print and online.

I haven't had a chance to peruse much beyond the article or the site from which it came, namely the Tango Magazine website, but they both seem interesting and a worthwhile read. I found myself nodding in assent as I read the article, and while I wouldn't necessarily suggest couples undertake long periods of physical separation, Kaia and I have found ways to keep our relationship current, fresh and immediate. As I indicated in my commentary on the article, being far away from one another physically doesn't mean a hiatus to the relationship; there are things a couple can do to remain "intimate" -- and I'm not referring to 900-number-type steaminess on the phone, instant messages or via web-cam. I think, for the most part, the difference, aside from a lack of touch and smell and eye contact, a short hiatus -- a month or six weeks -- can be safely survived assuming two people are on the same page in many respects.

It's been said that a relationship must be based on compatible personalities, simply because after a number of years, the physical appearances change, so relationships based solely on physical attraction will change. Relationships based on compatible personalities have much better odds at survival because -- to be blunt -- interacting, not fucking, are what make good relationships great. The sex and the physical stuff are components of that, but they're something akin to the whipped cream and the cherry on top of the sundae, not the actual sundae itself. Incidentally, for those whose thoughts immediately went to the prurient after reading the whipped cream/cherry phraseology above, get a handle on yourself. But please do so in private, especially if you're reading this in a public place, like your office, the library or on a wireless device on a bus.

In short, Kaia and I have this great thing going, and I'm -- for the most part -- focused on how great this thing is rather than focused on the fact that we're 3,000 miles apart. It could be even better, and once we're both living in NYC, it will be; but until then, we celebrate each other and "us" with the knowledge that, whether the person is next door or half a world away, finding someone you're crazy about and can't live without is far more valuable than the convenience of being two doors down from someone with whom you don't mind spending time once in awhile. The bottom line is that we have this thing happening, and the aforementioned article removed the shroud of what felt like a secret between us; knowing there are other people out there like us, lighting up during phone calls, messages and e-mails, is a curse and a blessing. But it doesn't change the fact that whatever it is, it is great, even if it's only temporary until we go "local."

Tango Magazine's website is www.tangomag.com.

1 comment:

Linny said...

I saw the same piece and immediately thought of you two....I was going to call to let you know, but than you would have either a) answered my call or b) called me back!

Would love to see you guys while Kelly's in town!